SAN DIEGO – Your next favorite bar could be hidden in plain sight!
Last week, Yelp announced its top 45 speakeasies in the nation, two of which are in the San Diego area.
Speakeasies are essentially bars tucked away from the public, meaning customers either go through an alley to find one or enter a secret passageway or other methods.
These institutions became popular during the 1920s prohibition era, a time when alcohol was banned in the United States and people built secret bars so authorities wouldn’t catch them.
Both San Diego speakeasies below require or recommend a reservation before you can come in.
(#18) Convoy Music Bar
Address: 4646 Convoy St.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Hours: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. (next day), every day except Tuesday
The easiest way to find this speakeasy is by going behind the business and walking down an alleyway, according to the business.
“Enter alley behind Obrien’s and look for ‘On Air’ Sign.”
The speakeasy’s Yelp page describes itself as a listening bar, inspired by Tokyo listening bars.
Their cocktail program focuses on Japanese Whiskey. Some of its popular drinks include “True Affection,” “Espresso Martini,” “Barefoot” and “Father Son.”
Based on pictures, Convoy Music Bar is a very small setting that features big speakers and old vinyl records near the main bar.
And make sure you come with your best cocktail attire because a dress code will be enforced, along with other rules listed on the businesses’ website.
(#30) False Idol
Address: 675 W. Beech St.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Hours: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. (next day) Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (next day) Fridays and Saturdays
The speakeasy is heavily inspired by tiki bars and is nestled in Little Italy.
Customers say this speakeasy is behind another business.
Yelp review: “Super fun speakeasy tiki bar! Hidden in the back of one of my favorite bar/restaurants craft and commerce, this place is a must to check out. It can get quite busy, recommend getting a reservation or come by earlier and get your name on a list, you can usually get in within an hour in my experience and can always grab a drink in craft and commerce while you wait.”
Some popular drinks from this establishment include:
- Mai Tai: dry curacao, fresh lime and orgeat
- Mac Nut Chi Chi: macadamia nuts, light blended rum, pineapple and coconut
- Coronado Luau Special: blended lightly aged rum, black rums, brandy, dry curacao, orgeat, lemon and orange
Yelp’s top 5 speakeasies in the U.S. include:
- Social, Fort Collins, Colorado
- Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery, Miami Beach, Florida
- Sushi On Me, Jackson Heights, New York
- The Underground at The Mob Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Community Speakeasy, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Yelp ranked these spots by including the total volume and ratings of reviews and if a chain appeared on the list more than once, they only included the highest-rated spot.
All businesses were marked open as of January 12, 2023.